UI Argonaut: “Growing the game — Vandal lacrosse players help coach Moscow High School students”

0 - Published April 2, 2012 by in High School, Lax Nation

The following article was recently run by the University of Idaho Argonaut:

By Katie Winzeler

With full course loads and a commitment to their own team, four University of Idaho club lacrosse and one Washington State lacrosse team members have found the time to make a difference with younger athletes by coaching the Moscow High School men’s club lacrosse team.

Tony Marcolina | Argonaut Idaho lacrosse player and Moscow High School assistant coach Patrick Tunison practice with the MHS lacrosse team Wednesday on the SprinTurf.

Blake Uphus, Bob Suchy, Patrick Tunison and Deric Wilson, along with Washington State lacrosse’s Gabe Means have been dedicating their free time to coaching and developing the Bears’ lacrosse program.

The Moscow team started last year and played six games in its first season. The team consisted of players who were, for the most part, new to the sport. The team continues to grow as it begins its second season with a schedule of 13 games — including a road trip to the Boise area in early April — and is picking up where it left off last season.

Idaho goalie Blake Uphus helps by coaching defense and goal keeping for the Bear’s program. Uphus said last year was a success for the team and they exceeded expectations for a group of students new to the sport.

“Obviously there is a lot to learn in a short amount of time, but the team grew by leaps and bounds all season,” Uphus said. “We can tell the program’s first win is very close.”

Uphus said the turnout and enthusiasm for such a new team from the students has been the team’s biggest accomplishment in learning a sport that takes time and dedication.

Uphus has helped coach the team since its start-up last year. He said since the sport is relatively new to the region, it is difficult to find coaches for teams trying tostart. He said he is trying to do his part to help the game grow.

“My favorite part of coaching the team is giving back to the sport that has done so much for my own life and hoping that it will do the same for some of the kids playing it now.” Uphus said.

Pat Vaughan, member of the board for the Moscow lacrosse club and parent to one of the players on the team, said the involvement of the Vandal players was the tipping point that made the program possible. Vaughan said since lacrosse is new to the region, a brand new organization had to be created. He said the framework for the program was there with interest from students, support from parents, and fundraising, but it was the expertise from the coaches that gave the program credibility.

“The guys that have come out have a good work ethic, they want to grow the sport,” Vaughan said. “They are not only coaches to the players, they are role models.”

Moscow’s next match will be against Coeur d’Alene High School at 5:30 p.m. April 3 in Coeur d’Alene.

Idaho lacrosse travels to Burnaby, B.C., to take on Simon Fraser at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Katie Winzeler can be reached at



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